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Writing Opportunities

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2024

Information
Closing date: 
24 July 2024
Entry: 
Poets from anywhere in the world aged 11-17 years No entry fee
Prize: 
Top 15 winners get publication in the Foyle Young Poets 2024 Anthology

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2024 is open! Enter your poems by 31 July 2024 at foyleyoungpoets.org

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is one of the biggest and most prestigious poetry competitions for 11-17 year olds in the world. Every year, 15 top winners and 85 commended poets are chosen; together, they represent some of the most exciting new voices writing today. This year's judges are the fantastic Vanessa Kisuule and Jack Underwood, and they can't wait to read your poems! If you're aged 11-17, send in your poems for the chance to be among the 100 winners and kick-start your writing career.

Poems can be on any theme and in any style but must be no longer than forty lines. You can submit as many as you like.

Winners of the award receive a fantastic range of prizes to help develop their writing. The top 15 poets receive a mentoring package with opportunities to receive support and feedback on their writing; and all 100 winners receive a year's youth membership of The Poetry SocietyLively and well-presented UK site supporting poetry with 4,000 members internationally and some thoughtful content. www.poetrysociety.org.uk and a bag full of books donated by generous publishers. The Poetry Society continues to support winners throughout their careers providing publication, performance and development opportunities, and access to a paid internship programme.

Since it began 26 years ago, the Award has kick-started the career of some of today's most exciting voices. Past winners include Jay Bernard, Sarah Howe, Helen Mort, Phoebe Power, Caroline Bird, Mukahang Limbu, Richard O'Brien and many more incredible poets. You can read last year's winning poems for inspiration in our new anthology, The Roots Belong to You.

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The Moth Short Story Prize 2024

Information
Closing date: 
30 June 2024
Entry: 
Open to all writers over 16. Entry fee €15 per story
Prize: 
1st prize €3,000, 2nd prize week-long writing retreat at Circle of Misse in France plus travel stipend, 3rd prize €1,000

The Moth Short Story Prize is an international prize, open to anyone from anywhere in the world, as long as their story is original and previously unpublished. The winners are chosen by a single judge each year, who reads the stories anonymously.

This year's judge is Louise Kennedy. Louise's novel, Trespasses, won the McKitterick Prize, Debut of the Year at the British Book Awards, the John McGahern Prize and the An Post Irish Book Awards Novel of the Year, and was shortlisted for the Waterstones Debut Fiction Prize and longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction. She is also the author of a collection of short stories, The End of the World Is a Cul de Sac.

The Prize is open to anyone over 16, as long as the work is original and previously unpublished. There is a word limit of 3,000. The entry fee is €15 per story. Closing 30 June 2024.

The winning story will be printed as part of the summer fiction series in the Irish Times, while the 2nd and 3rd-prize-winning stories will be published in the Irish Times online.

PRIZES:
1st prize €3,000
2nd prize week-long writing retreat at Circle of Misse in France plus open travel stipend
3rd prize €1,000

With thanks to Circle of Misse for the superb second prize of a week-long writing retreat in France and an open travel stipend, enabling the 2nd prize winner to travel to France from anywhere in the world.

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The Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition 2024

Information
Closing date: 
1 June 2024
Entry: 
Open to unpublished, unagented children’s writers based anywhere in the world. Entry fee £20
Prize: 
First Prize: a publishing contract with Chicken House with an advance of £10,000, plus the offer of representation from literary agent Lydia Silver of Darley Anderson Children's Book Agency.

The Times/Chicken House Prize

The prize you already know and love - a worldwide publishing contract with Chicken House with a £10,000 advance (subject to contract) for a complete fiction manuscript of any genre for children aged 7 up to YA. The winning entry will be the novel that, in the opinion of the judges, demonstrates the greatest entertainment value, quality, originality and suitability for children. The winner will also be offered representation by Lydia Silver of Darley Anderson Children's Book Agency.

The Lime Pictures New Storyteller Award

We are bringing back the Lime Pictures New Storyteller Award, a bespoke prize sponsored by leading TV production company Lime Pictures, awarded to the submission which shows the greatest TV development potential and chosen by Chicken House Publisher Barry Cunningham and Lime Pictures' Tim Compton. The winner will receive a £7,500 publishing contract plus an offer of representation.

The good news is, you don't need to do anything extra to be considered for the Lime Pictures New Storyteller Award; simply enter the competition as normal and our expert team of readers will do the rest. Simple!

The competition is open RIGHT NOW and the deadline is 1st June 2024 at 11.59pm GMT. So absolutely NO EXCUSES - grab that manuscript, or a completely fresh slate, and get writing - we can't wait to read all of the brilliant stories that are just waiting to be read.

For more details on the competition, both prizes, and instructions on how to enter, please visit our submissions page. Good luck, writers!

There is also a useful Writers' Guide to help aspiring children's book authors.

The Bridport Prize 2024

Information
Closing date: 
31 May 2024
Entry: 
Poetry, Short Story and Flash Fiction open to unpublished work from any writer writing in English over 16. Novel Award restricted to UK writers, and to British adn American writers living abroad. Entry fee: £12 per poem, £14 per story, £11 for flash fiction and £24 per novel
Prize: 
Poetry and Short Story 1st Prize £5,000, Flash Fiction 1st Prize £1,000. Novel Award a year's mentoring and critique

The Bridport Prize has four sections: Poetry, Short Story, Flash Fiction and Novel Award.

Read the Rules carefully, as they have different rules and entry fees for different prizes.

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Fern Academy Prize for essays

Information
Closing date: 
23 April 2024
Entry: 
Open to unpublished and unagented writers from around the world. No entry fee
Prize: 
Prize of £3,000; publication with Tortoise Media; literary representation by RCW literary agent Laurence Laluyaux and other prizes

Fern Press and How to Academy have partnered on a new essay award worth £3,000, in association with Tortoise Media, for unpublished authors.

Fern Press was launched by Vintage last year, while the annual non-fiction essay prize is "for those working at the frontier of creativity and thought", organisers said. 

The prize is designed to find and nurture emerging non-fiction talent and will be awarded to an essay of literary merit with an international and multicultural interest. The prize encourages essays that shine a light on the universal human experience - on a micro or macro scale - and "which speak clearly to the times we live in", organisers said. The prize is open to unagented and unpublished writers from around the world, writing in the English language. 

The winning writer will receive: a cash prize of £3,000; publication with Tortoise Media; literary representation by RCW literary agent Laurence Laluyaux; a five-night writing course run by How to Academy's sister company, Unmissable Courses; an appearance on How to Academy's biweekly podcast; and mentorship from a Penguin Random House UKPenguin Random House have more than 50 creative and autonomous imprints, publishing the very best books for all audiences, covering fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s books, autobiographies and much more. Click for Random House UK Publishers References listing editor. 

The essay should be between 3,000 and 6,000 words. The prize is open to all writers who have not been published by a trade book publisher, including those who have to date only published academic papers and in other media such as magazines, newspapers and online. 

The judges for the prize are writer and publisher Margaret Busby (acting as chair), RCW literary agent Laluyaux, writer Mark O'Connell, Tortoise Media managing editor Keith Blackmore and the Fern Press editorial team. 

The prize will accept submissions between 2nd and 23rd April 2024. A shortlist will be announced in June 2024, with the winner announced at an event later that month. 

Busby, chair of judges, said: "The Fern Academy Prize is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the potential universality of essays, foregrounding a genre of writing that at best is both accessible and multi-dimensional (and which has always been a particular favourite of mine). The time is definitely right to seek out short-form writing capable of opening minds and addressing issues that affect us all." 

Fern Press and How to Academy said:

"In a deeply divided and increasingly polarised world, emerging thinkers, writers and artists have an important and powerful role to play in our navigation and understanding of different perspectives and worlds. This international prize, open to anyone writing in the English language, anywhere in the world, looks to celebrate the essay form and build bridges between analysis and the creative imagination." 

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The Caterpillar Poetry Prize 2024

Information
Closing date: 
31 March 2024
Entry: 
Open to all poets across the world over the age of 16, as long as the work is original and previously unpublished. Entry fee €15 per poem
Prize: 
First Prize €1,000 and a week-long stay at The Circle of Misse in France, Second Prize €500 and Third Prize €250

If you have written a poem you think would appeal to 7-11-year olds, then why not enter the The Caterpillar Poetry Prize 2024? The prize is open to anyone over 16, and the poem can be on any subject.

The judge this year will be Joseph Coelho, who was appointed Children's Laureate in the UK in 2022. He started out as a performance poet and is committed to making the reading and writing of poetry accessible to all. He has said that poetry is often what people turn to in times of need, ‘because we instinctively know, deep down in our core, that poetry transcends.'

The winning poem will feature in the summer 2024 issue of The Caterpillar and in the Irish Times online.

Closing date 31 March 2024

‘The Caterpillar is such a unique and inspired magazine. Winning The Caterpillar Poetry Prize is all shades of wonderful!' Coral Rumble

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The Rubery Prize 2024

Information
Closing date: 
31 March 2024
Entry: 
Open to all writers internationally who have published their work through a small press or self-published their work Entry fee £45, varying internationally
Prize: 
First Prize is £2,000 plus £200 for four category winners. Every winner receives a glass plaque and all winners & shortlisted authors receive a write up

The Rubery Prize is a prestigious international book award seeking the best books by indie writers, self published authors and books published by independent presses, judged by reputable judges. Creative writing is such a key part of life for those who enjoy writing yet it is increasingly difficult to become traditionally published. Through our reputation of finding quality and outstanding books we aim to bring recognition to the works that win and heighten an author's profile.

It is open to all writers internationally and is awarded to a book published in print or ebook form. Books published by independent presses and self published books are eligible to enter

We accept fiction (all genres), young adult, children's, biographies, non-fiction, self-help, cookery, poetry, photography etc. There are no limits on the type.

Judges

Paul McDonald and Kerry Hadley-Pryce

For more details

 

The BBC National Short Story Award 2024

Information
Closing date: 
18 March 2024
Entry: 
British nationals and UK residents, aged 18 years or over. No entry fee
Prize: 
Winner £15,000 plus 4 shortlisted authors £600

The BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University (NSSA) has opened for submissions. This is the first year of a renewed three-year partnership with Cambridge University.

Radio and TV presenter Paddy O'Connell will chair this year's BBC NSSA judging panel.

The winning author of the BBC National Short Story Award will receive £15,000, with four further shortlisted authors winning £600 each. The stories are broadcast on Radio 4 and available to listen to on BBC Sounds, and also published in an anthology by Comma Press. Naomi Wood won the 2023 award for Comorbidities, which explored the difficulty of maintaining love and intimacy in a marriage, from her forthcoming debut collection, This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things (Orion, April 2024).

Di Speirs, editor of books at BBC Radio and judge of the BBC National Short Story Award since its launch, said: "As the BBC National Short Story Award enters its nineteenth year, I'm excited and curious to see where we will travel and what this year's entries will reveal; will writers offer wisdom, solace, escape? As a leading commissioner of original short fiction, the BBC has always broadcast stories that capture the universal in the personal and entertain and reward the listener. The BBC NSSA sits right at the heart of this ambition each year, allowing us to discover talent and reflect the most exciting writing currently in the UK. I'm looking forward to a springtime of fine fiction immersion and to bringing our audiences voices new or old, but undoubtedly fresh and compelling, in the early autumn."

The deadline for entries for the BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University is 18 March. The shortlist for the NSSA will be announced on 12 September. The announcement of the winners will be broadcast live from the award ceremony at BBC Broadcasting House on BBC Radio 4's Front Row from 7.15pm on 1 October.

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The Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize 2024

Information
Closing date: 
9 February 2024
Entry: 
Open to unpublished and unagented female writers, aged 18 or over, who live in the UK or Ireland. Entry fee £12
Prize: 
Winner £1,500 and guidance and support from literary agent and sponsor Peters Fraser Dunlop

Now going into its 14th year, the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize is famous for helping undiscovered women writers launch their literary careers, and developed a formidable reputation for attracting first-class writing talent and as such judges are seeking entries that combine literary merit with 'unputdownability.' The Prize is for a novel by a woman over the age of 18 that marries literary merit with unputdownability. The work can be on any subject at all. We welcome submissions of literary fiction and genre fiction equally. Novels for young adults or children are acceptable if they are mainly word-based; picture books are excluded.

The winner of the 2024 prize will receive guidance and support from literary agent and sponsor Peters Fraser Dunlop as well as a cash prize of £1,500.

Entrants need to submit 40-50 pages of their novel and 3-5 pages of synopsis.

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‘The People’s Friend’ 155th Anniversary Bursary Competition

Information
Closing date: 
5 February 2024
Entry: 
UK entries only, over 18. No entry fee
Prize: 
£10,000 writing bursary

Entries for "The People's Friend" 155th anniversary fiction writing competition are now open. Submit your romance, thriller, or comedy short story for your chance to win a £10K writing bursary!

As "The People's Friend" celebrates 155 years of creativity, we are also looking forward to discovering a new voice in fiction."The People's Friend" has championed reading and the best stories right back since its inception in 1869. That's 155 years of commitment to wonderful writing and those who put pen to paper to create it. Here at the "Friend", we are determined to keep bringing you the most fabulous stories from exceptional writers. To illustrate our ongoing commitment, we are launching a very special fiction competition, to find a new writer, a new voice and a new source of entertainment for our readers.

As we celebrate our 155th anniversary, we would like to give one new writer a helping hand by paying them a bursary of £10K which includes a contribution from the Olwen Richards Memorial Fund to help fund their writing journey as well as being published in the "Friend".
Could this be you?

Writing competition brief

Entries are invited from across the UK for those aged 18 and over.

Entrants must be amateur, unpublished writers. They should submit a never-before published story that can be printed across DC Thomson titles without restriction. Copyright for the original stories remains with the authors at all times.

Submissions must have a word count of 2,000 with no more than 10% over or under that number.

Accepted categories are Romance, Thriller and Comedy, with each category having an under 30 age group and over 30 age group subcategory (based on age at date of short story submission). Entrants can submit one short story per genre category (Romance, Thriller and Comedy), totalling a maximum of 3 entries. We would appreciate if each story was emailed separately.

Entries should be typed and emailed as a Word document to 155@thepeoplesfriend.co.uk and include a synopsis (100 words), the short story and a personal bio on the author. Please add your name, the age category you are entering and the genre (Romance, Thriller or Comedy) on the cover page of your story.

Entries should arrive no later than Monday February 5, 2024 at 23:59pm.

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The Prototype Publishing Prize

Information
Closing date: 
31 January 2024
Entry: 
Open to writers resident in the UK or Ireland. No entry fee
Prize: 
£3,000 plus publication by Prototype will go to the best book-length project A second prize of £2,000 plus publication by Monitor Books will be awarded to the best proposal for a short-form work.

Prototype Publishing, along with partners Monitor Books and frieze magazine, has announced the Prototype Prize, a new, bi-annual prize for published or unpublished writers and artists working at the intersections of different literary and artistic forms.

The prize of £3,000 plus publication by Prototype will go to the best book-length project by a writer or artist resident in the UK or Ireland. A second prize of £2,000 plus publication by Monitor Books will be awarded to the best proposal for a short-form work. Both prize-winners will have an excerpt of their work published by frieze.

The judges for the inaugural prize are Bhanu Kapil, Tom McCarthy and Elizabeth Price, who will work alongside an editorial board from the publishers.

Submissions of work that "interrogates the boundaries of established formal, narrative and genre conventions" are encouraged. Fiction, poetry and non-fiction prose are all eligible, with no restrictions on style, form or subject-matter, with interdisciplinary approaches particularly welcomed.

The prize will open for submissions for one month in January 2024. A shortlist of five proposals will be chosen by the judges and announced in June 2024, and the two winners announced at an event at the South London Gallery in September 2024, with both books published in spring 2025. The prize is supported by Shane Akeroyd, Sadie Coles and Emmanuel Roman, and by public funding from Arts Council England.

The Prototype Prize will run in conjunction with an adjacent development programme in partnership with New Writing North, supporting underrepresented and emerging writers and artists through a six-month long scheme consisting of monthly seminars with leading practitioners, and editorial development and group feedback sessions. This programme is open for submissions from 13th September until 23rd October 2023.

Please check exact dates of opening and closing of the Prize on the website.

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The Selfies Book Awards UK 2024

Information
Closing date: 
7 January 2024
Entry: 
Authors who have self-published adult fiction, children’s fiction or adult non-fiction in the UK between January and December 2023. Entry fee: £35 per title to include a six-month subscription to Bookbrunch
Prize: 
£750 cash prize for each category plus other prizes

Now in their sixth year, the hugely popular Selfies book awards - powered by UK trade journal BookBrunch and sponsored by Ingram Spark® and LitPR- will again reward three self-published authors for their publishing excellence.

Supported by the London Book Fair and NielsenIQ, these awards recognise one of the fastest growing parts of the book market, with submissions now open for indie authors who in 2023 have published a book in three categories: adult fiction, children's books or, for the first time, adult general non-fiction.

Submissions will be accepted until midnight on Tuesday 2 January 2024. Shortlists will be announced in February, and the three winners will be announced in the London Book Fair Author HQ on 12 March 2024.

Jo Henry, Managing Director of BookBrunch, said: "We are always eager to see the wealth of titles published by independent authors in the UK. Over the past five years we have had an exceptionally rich pool of self-published books submitted that we are incredibly pleased to help bring to a wider audience. I am sure that this coming year will be even better!"

The winner in each category receives £750 plus a profile in BookBrunch and full PR support for their title, while all shortlisted authors receive access to LitPR's education and empowerment resources and free entry to the London Book Fair and membership of the Author HQ club. Comprising a theatre and networking area, Author HQ provides a forum for discussions on approaches to publishing and includes networking events and 'how-to' style panels, one of which will be curated by the Selfies this year. Shortlisted authors will also be invited to a networking event at the London Book Fair hosted by IngramSpark.

The shortlisted titles are judged by experts from the book industry who are looking for: A fantastic story that entertains and delights the reader; A well-produced book; An enticing cover and blurb that successfully addresses the target audience; and finally, an effective and creative marketing and publicity strategy that has the potential for great sales.

All titles submitted for the 2024 awards need to have been published in English between January and December 2023. Entries will only be accepted from UK authors who are predominantly or only self-published, ie where the author themselves acts as the publisher/creative director.

In order to register, authors should go to www.bookbrunch.co.uk, click on the subscribe button and select the 6 month subscription box, using the code SELFIESBOOKAWARDS2024. The fee of £35 will include a six-month subscription to BookBrunch (normally £65). Please see www.theselfies.co.uk for more details, and follow along on #theselfiesbookawards.